Skills. The ability to implement research, knowledge and education. Years after exposure it retains its ability to deliver dividends.

In other words, it’s always good, but it’s not always beneficial.

Two things decrease the long term value of skills.

  1. Skill Mongering. It is the overapplication of this principle. Since it is never a waste, logic suggests that you should just gain as many skills as possible. It is also subject to the law of diminishing returns. Initially, you gain exponential benefit. This flattens out over time as more skills are added. Usually, because the skills do not leverage one another or support your chosen career trajectory.
  2. Skills Mortgaging. This is when you are forced to mortgage your future in order to gain skills. Student loans are a great example. It may be helpful when it launches us into lucrative careers that bridge the mortgage quickly. It certainly eats into the dividends in the process. In many cases, it consumes all the benefits.

Managing these two downside multipliers protects the engrained upside.

It should never be a waste.

Markus Spiske

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